Parineeti Chopra’s raw, vulnerable appeal is not a put on charade, it is real. I am completely taken aback, in a nice way, by her candid admissions about surviving in big bad Mumbai, fighting loneliness and her advice on how a young beautiful woman can survive in a city where loyalty, trust and camaraderie are in short supply.Parineeti comes across as balanced, focused and more than just a ‘star’ and justifies Varun Dhawan’s statement that she is one of India’s most talented artistes today.
She plays the bindaas, self-assured, independent and liberated woman often in her celluloid avataar. Looks can however be deceptive. The big glamorous world of Bollywood may have accepted her with open arms, and her talent is compared with Kajol’s but she has not grown up here. She was a banker in Manchester with no understanding of the film industry. When she came here to work in public relations, little did she imagine that she would become such a popular star. But when she got into acting, she made a success of it with her disarming from-the-heart brand of acting.
The young talented woman dances to her own tune and believes in speaking her mind. She says, “I cannot suck up. I cannot party for the sake of networking. I do realise that friendship is important but I cannot make friends or have relationships with an agenda. I’d like to be considered for a film because I am good at my job. If I’d have grown up in this milieu, I’d not get depressed so easily. Whom do I speak to, confide in? How was I going to manage?”
Any career is exacting and Bollywood even more so. Survival is tough in a big city and even young ladies and men sometimes get lonely and depressed. Parineeti is no different and it is endearing to hear her opening up about her experiences, sharing them so sincerely. “I used to get very easily bogged down by poor reviews, bad pictures, scrutiny of my clothes and found it very hard to stay happy. When you are around people who you’ve grown up with a brother or a friend from childhood then it is easy to vent and keep one’s sanity.
I had to work it out for myself and teach myself not to get affected by criticism. Two years of surviving alone taught me to be detached and develop mental strength.” Parineeti shares her survival tricks: “Harden your skin to unnecessary criticism that can also be malicious. Secondly, it helps to have a friend or mentor, like I have Adi Chopra. His humane approach and friendship helped me deal with work-related issues. I go to my friend director Manish Sharma who did Band Baaja Baraat for professional advice.
I recommend that people who have work stress always develop one or two mentors to help work things out objectively and detachedly. Thirdly, develop a sense of independence and self-reliance. I know it’s easier said than done but when you are a working woman living alone, it is a practice one just has to develop.”
The author is a luxury consultant and lifestyle columnist. You can mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org